Health chiefs condemn Willesden chemist accused of illegal sales

R and C Pharmacy is claimed to have sold prescription only drugs to an undercover reporter

Health chiefs have condemned a chemist in Willesden that is claimed to be practising illegally and have launched an “urgent investigation” claiming it posed a “serious risk to patients”.

R and C Pharmacy in Walm Lane, was one of a number of practises allegedly selling prescription only drugs over the counter in exchange for cash in an undercover investigation.

The chemist is claimed to have sold an amoxicillin antibiotic to an undercover reporter as part of a London wide sting.

The penicillin can have side effects of nausea, vomiting and, occasionally, insomnia and changes in mood if not used properly.

It is now being investigated by independent regulator the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).

Duncan Rudkin, chief executive of the GPhC, said: “Patients can be put at serious risk if they are supplied with prescription-only medicines unlawfully, without having a consultation with a health professional who is qualified to prescribe.

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“We work with the police and other authorities as necessary and have powers to take action to safeguard patients, including removing a pharmacist’s right to practise in Great Britain.”

“We are already investigating a number of allegations that pharmacies in London have supplied medicines illegally and would urge anyone with concerns to contact us.”

It is illegal to sell any prescription based drug over the counter without the consent of a professional and chemists caught out could have their right to practise taken away.

A spokesman for the Medicine and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which ensures that medicines work and are acceptably safe, said prescription only medicines should only be sold or supplied at registered pharmacy premises against a prescription written by an appropriate practitioner.

NHS North West London, which is responsible for healthcare across the area, said they were taking the matter ‘very seriously’.

The drugs directory at New Scotland Yard confirmed to the Times that they were also investigating the pharmacy.

R and C Pharmacy were unavailable for comment when contacted by the Times.